E and E: everything else

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Luke Hill
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
"People know what crew chiefs do. They know what avionics, weapons and hydraulics Airmen do, but what does electrical and environmental do? Pretty much everything else," said Tech. Sgt. John Heppner, 2nd Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental NCO in charge.

Most career fields present at Barksdale Air Force Base are pretty straightforward and have a specific niche within the base's mission. However, 2nd MXS E and E Airmen are required to work on a variety of systems, on a multitude of aircraft.

E and E Airmen must know how to work on missile cooling systems, aircraft cabin cooling and heating, and cabin pressure and liquid oxygen systems on jets, bombers and helicopters. Keeping up with all the knowledge required to work on all the different systems and aircraft is one of the most challenging parts of the job, continued Heppner.

"Having that mass amount of knowledge is difficult because we aren't just working with one system on one aircraft," said Heppner. "We work on jets. We work on bombers, fuel tanks, liquid oxygen systems and life support systems. Everyday people are depending on us to do our job correctly."

The stress associated with keeping up with all the working knowledge and the pressure to perform may be too much for the average person to handle, but for Senior Airman Allen Arrington, 2nd MXS E and E technician it's one of his favorite parts of the career field.

"I really enjoy working through problems on electrical systems," said Arrington. "I like troubleshooting and trying to figure out where the loss of power is or what's wrong with the grounds. It's rewarding to fix what needs to be fixed."

Also, for E and E Airmen, things can go from relatively calm to out of control within a few minutes. Proper planning and coordination with team members is another important facet of the career field.

"Time management is key with this job," said Senior Airman Michael Fleming, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron E and E technician. "You can have a lot of time to accomplish a task but you have to be prepared for emergencies that require immediate attention. Managing your team and coordinating with other maintenance shops is important."

E and E is a technically complex job with multiple challenges and stresses. It is vital to Barksdale's mission and the Airmen that make up E and E stand ready to get the job done; keeping Barksdale's aircraft prepared for whatever lies ahead.